Bakkt in Business: Big Bitcoin Boost is Coming for BTC/USD Bottom Line Value

Regarding the title of this update…well, sorry, we just couldn’t help ourselves. Glad to have you with us on this fine Monday afternoon, morning, night, or hell, maybe it’s even Tuesday where you are.

Yesterday, Bakkt announced it would open physically-settled futures trading on September 23. That’s only about a year later than anticipated, but better late than never, right? Now, the skeptics out there are saying (with a smug smile, no doubt) that since Bakkt already delayed several times, nothing is keeping them from doing so again.

After all, this isn’t the first (or second) time Bakkt has hit us with a date for release. However, optimists that we are, we think it’s different this time.

Bakkt is a Big Deal

Bakkt is bringing two massive infrastructural changes to the crypto table. On their own, each would be a big deal, but together – well, that’s what really gets us excited.

1. Bitcoin Warehousing: Institutions want to buy Bitcoin, but they have no idea how to store it. Even if they did, they want someone else to be responsible for it in case something happens. Typical, but understandable. Bakkt is providing warehousing for physically-settled Bitcoin futures for exactly that reason, and it should be the icing on the cake for institutions who have been sitting on the sidelines so far.

2. Physically-settled futures: Back in 2017, everyone got super excited about CBOE futures, only to realize way too late (see: after the dump) that these futures had almost nothing to do with actual BTC. Physically-settled futures change all that. Instead of being settled in cash, these BTC futures actually deal in the asset itself – it needs to be held as part of the futures contract.

In this one-two setup, we’ve got a reason and way for institutions to buy BTC, even if for purely speculative purposes, and we’ve got qualified custodianship in the warehouse. The whole thing is such an obvious win for the crypto space.

We said that Bakkt dropping a date is different this time. Why is that, you ask? Because before, Bakkt waited for the CFTC to drop in and approve the custodianship angle, but after waiting and waiting, it never materialized.

So, Bakkt changed tack and went after the New York State Department of Financial Services for the green light. The September 23 live date is a result of that shift, and New York’s willingness to get the job done.

You can read Bakkt’s official statement about it all here.

Who Says Altcoins Aren’t Getting Adopted?

Altcoins have (understandably) been taking a lot of heat from HODLers. After doing nothing but lose sat value for the better part of 1.5 years, it’s tricky to stay upbeat about them.

And yet, there’s a delicate balance to maintain between becoming jaded and going overly optimistic. Zcoin is a perfect example of the benefits of keeping an eye on the right projects. Two days ago, the Zcoin team announced a major partnership with Satang App, a Thai payment app with five million merchants already on board.

The result of the partnership is that XZC is now spendable with those millions of merchants by Satang App’s estimated 50 million person userbase. Had you completely checked out of the crypto news cycle, you’d have easily missed this, despite potentially maintaining that no one uses crypto.

It’s the little things that count – they add up and make the big picture even sweeter.

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Author: Bitcoin Exchange Guide News Team

Did Archive.org and Microsoft Office Just Expose Craig Wright as “FakeToshi”?

  • Craig Wright published an article that he claimed to have made in 2007.
  • The version of Microsoft Office used to publish this paper wasn’t available until after the paper’s alleged creation date.

Craig Wright is known by the entire cryptocurrency world as the man who claims that he is the true creator of Bitcoin, claiming to be the true identity of Satoshi Nakamoto. He’s claimed this statement for years, and the topic has been brought even more into the spotlight this year with a court case that has been challenging this claim. Now, it looks like Wright is being exposed by another source.

On August 18th, a paper was uploaded by Wright to a database called Payments Providers and Intermediaries as Defined in the Law of the Internet. The submission date has been removed, but the paper is dated in 2007, showing the first line of the original Bitcoin whitepaper. Allegedly, Wright’s paper from 2007 said,

“In a similar manner to the web, a purely peer-to-peer version of electronic cash would allow online payments to be sent directly from one party to another without going through a payment intermediary.”

Even though this information would realistically validate Wright’s claims, it barely took 24 hours for this whole plot to be completely exposed. Peter McCormack, who is already tied in with Wright as a result of a lawsuit that accused him of libel, discovered some interesting facts regarding the paper. McCormack downloaded the only archived version of this document, finding that the creation date of the paper was August 18th.

The paper was created in Microsoft Office 365, according to the metadata, which wasn’t even released for commercial use until 2011. However, Wright claims that this exact paper is from 2007, which would be impossible with this version of Office. This isn’t even the first time that this program has been the pitfall of Wright’s claims.

In July this year, Wright submitted documents as part of the ongoing Kleiman trial, which he claimed to be from a specific date. However, in using a version of the Calibri font, which wasn’t available until 2015, Wright’s choices again were exposed as impossible. McCormack, who is presently being sued by Wright for claiming that he is not Satoshi, tweeted to ponder why Wright is even going after him, when it is clear that the document could not possibly have been created when he said.

McCormack was sued by Wright in April this year, after he refused to agree that Wright is the official creator of Bitcoin. Wright sued Roger Ver, the owner of Bitcoin.com, as well, but the case was dismissed by the UK court for not being relevant.

Even with another self-proclaimed Bitcoin creator in the world, Wright is seemingly working to do everything he can to say that he’s the one and only Satoshi. But, is he?

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Author: Krystle M

Binance’s App Returns To Apple Store as CEO Documents Tough Process to Get Accepted

Binance, the largest cryptocurrency exchange by volume, has finally listed its trading app on Apple store again. This happened months after the app was taken off the service. The CEO of the exchange, Changpeng Zhao, commented about the victory on Twitter.

According to him, it was a very difficult process that allowed the company to list its iOS app there again. The app was listed after the company followed a long process of adhering to all the rules that Apple required

“without complaints”.

Zhao joked that it was actually harder to be listed on the Apple Store than having a token being listed on Binance. The joke was because Binance is said to be considerably hard to get in. Many altcoins providers want the fame that Binance can provide them, but have a tough time being listed.

Not only the app has returned to the store, but Binance also launched Venus this week. Venus is a stablecoin backed by the company. The idea was to use Venus in order to make the Binance DEX (decentralized exchange) even more decentralized than it is right now. Before Venus, Binance launched BTCB, which pegged to Bitcoin (BTC) and BGBP, pegged to the British pound (GBP).

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Author: Gabriel Machado

Bitpay Reports Bitcoin and Crypto Real Estate Spending on Pace to Double This Year

It may be because prices went up this year, but people are really starting to use Bitcoin in order to acquire real estate. Bitpay has recently affirmed that the spending of crypto on real estate is set to double in 2019.

If it depends on the company, it certainly will. Bitpay has recently started a new partnership with a luxury condominium complex in the city of Orlando that will allow people to buy properties using their crypto wallets.

According to Bitpay’s Chief Commercial Officer Sonny Singh, nearly $20 million was spent in real estate using the company’s platform back in 2017. The bear market made the spending go down last year, though, and only $6 million was used. However, this year it’s expected that people will spend over $12 million in this market again.

As Bitpay is the largest payment processor in the world right now, with over $1 billion USD processed each year, the company can really be considered an authority in payments. Singh affirmed that the new partnership is among many others that the company has with real estate companies and that they will drive investment in these areas upward.

According to David D’Ambrosio, who works with real estate, several clients from Brazil, China and Turkey inquired about crypto payments recently. He believes that there is a market for this and that it will grow a lot in the future. Soon after the contact of these clients, he started a partnership with Bitpay in order to enable these traders.

Bitpay is seen as one of the best ways to settle these transactions because, despite the fees of 1%, the transactions are settled very fast.

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Author: Bitcoin Exchange Guide News Team

New York Times Says Cyber Criminals Are Using Bitcoin to Get Around Sanctions

  • Bitcoin is not an anonymous asset and can be tracked.
  • A promotional video from Hamas encourages individuals to donate to their cause with Bitcoin.

The traditional finance market has been worried about a few of Bitcoin’s attributes, but proponents have largely focused on the blockchain’s lack of anonymity as a reason that criminals would be dissuaded. However, changes in the sanctions between the US and other countries have led cyber criminals straight to Bitcoin’s doorstep, applying the digital currency to their various funding efforts, according to reports from Decrypt and the New York Times.

The militant group in Palestine – Hamas – is considered to be a terrorist organization, and it has been largely kept out of the traditional financial system. However, as Bitcoin is not controlled by a single entity, the military wing has developed a way for their campaign to raise money through Bitcoin. In the latest version set up by the Qassam Brigades, every person is provided with a Bitcoin address where funds can be sent. In doing so, law enforcement can’t exactly track the funds. This website also includes a video that shows senders how to evade the authorities and prevent the transaction from causing an alert.

A screen shot from a Qassam video that explains how to acquire and send Bitcoin without tipping off the authorities.

A screen shot from a Qassam video that explains how to acquire and send Bitcoin without tipping off the authorities.

Bitcoin has been involved with drug purchases, money laundering, and more. However, the increase in the number of terrorist organizations using Bitcoin and other digital coins has attracted the attention of the authorities. While individual campaigns don’t appear to gain much funding, the authorities have pointed out that there is little funding necessary for terrorist attacks.

Former CIA analyst Yaya Fanusie, who now acts as a consultant on rogue actors who use cryptocurrency, explained that more of these circumstances will arise, and “it is something that people should pay attention to.” Even the Treasury Department’s undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, Sigal Mandelker, mirrored these comments during an interview, even though the concept is new to these terrorists.

Steven Stalinsky, the executive director of the Middle East Media Research Institute, said, “They seem to be reacting to all the economic sanctions by saying, ‘We are going to try using Bitcoin.’” Stalinsky’s organization, known as Memri, will soon be publishing a report with over 200 pages, explaining the signs that cryptocurrency is being used by terrorist organizations. The report will specifically reference groups in Syria that are already on the run.

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Author: Krystle M

Philippines Central Bank Approves Two New Cryptocurrency Exchanges; Atomtrans and Telcoin

The Central Bank of the Philippines has recently decided to allow two new companies to operate as cryptocurrency exchanges within its boundaries. Now, Telcoin Corpl and Atomtrans Tech Corp will both be able to offer its services in the country.

Telcoin is a technology company based in Japan while Atomtrans is a Phillipino one. The Japanese company uses and Ethereum-based platform and has a strong mobile market in Japan. The other one is focused on remittance and payment systems and has important partnerships with Chinese companies.

With these two new companies, the country will have 13 of them. While the Philippines can still be considered somewhat of a small market, the truth is that it has been growing a lot lately. In 2017, the country transacted around $189 million using crypto while in 2018 the numbers were over $390 million USD, basically the double of what it was a year before.

Because of the high usage of these tokens, the crypto industry needs to be regulated in the country and that is where the central bank comes in. For instance, the government has issued the guidelines for ICOs this year, in order to show companies how they can offer the assets in a fully compliant way.

Other crypto-related initiatives in the country include the recent plans to launch a central bank-backed crypto. It looks like the plans did not bear fruit, however, as they were recently abandoned by the central bank of the country.

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Author: Gabriel Machado

Israeli Crypto Traders Fight Bank Lockouts with a Freedom of Information Petition

Several Bitcoin and crypto traders of Israel are facing a problem with banks right now. Many banks are not very sympathetic with crypto traders and are closing their accounts. This has prompted several of them to start a series of lawsuits against the banking institutions, the Globes has recently reported.

The problems are pretty varied. Some people have tried to pay their crypto taxes, only to find that the banks do not accept their payments. Others have lost their accounts or were blocked from opening one.

According to the investors, the national central bank, the Bank of Israel, is not helping either. The bank is said to be protecting banks affirming that their policies to block customers or not are a “commercial secret”, so traders have nobody to turn to.

Jonathan Klinger, the legal advisor of the Bitcoin Association in the country, affirms that the institution started to take action against banks because the regulators seem to be completely ignoring the traders and their problems.

Now, a lawsuit is in place and the main target is the Union Bank of Israel. The bank, according to the petition, has refused to accept crypto clients without even examining the circumstances. If you deal with Bitcoin in any way, you are likely to be cut out of the banking system of Israel.

The Bitcoin Association does not trade BTC, but it was also denied the opportunity to open up an account only because of its promotional relationship with cryptos. The reason for that? Well, it has Bitcoin on its name.

The problem is so big that the government is expected to lose $85 million USD in taxes because of it and even in this case nobody actually seems to care enough.

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Author: Hank Klinger

Over 3.5 Millions Accounts Registered on Tron Mainnet As TronWallet Adds Bitcoin Support

Tron CEO and founder, Justin Sun, has just reported that the total number of accounts on the Tron mainnet now exceeds 3.5 million. Moreover, the block height has reached 11984687 with 1073 online nodes.

This wide scale adoption of the network is astonishing given that Tron launched a little over a year ago. Just the other day TronWallet in a tweet said that it was adding Bitcoin to its wallet. As per the tweet the wallet is set to support Bitcoin in the coming days, however, no timelines were given. The tweet read:

Although the Tron foundation seems to be doing pretty well going by the stats, its native coin TRX has plummeted to the 14th position according CoinMarketCap’s top rated cryptos.

Tron does have a functioning mainnet, which many cryptocurrencies do not. It is also a blockchain platform which supports a wide range of decentralised applications (dApps) competing with the likes of other blockchain platforms Ethereum and EOS. In fact, it was found that Tron has surpassed Ethereum and EOS in total dApp users. It may be these factors which are increasing Tron’s popularity.

It may also be due to the ease of using the network. Creating an account on Tron is relatively easy, which may explain the high number of registered accounts. It requires a mere 0.1 TRX to generate a key pair and to extract a public key. It is thus possible that while the network has a large number of real users, they are not completely active.

1 TRX is worth $0.02. Tron might still be struggling because its popularity is a double-edged sword. It receives a major amount of negative publicity due to the antics of Justin Sun, who always seems to be embroiled in controversy.

The most recent of this is the massive failure of his planned lunch with Warren Buffett. Sun donated a staggering $4.5 million to charity to have lunch with the famed crypto-sceptic. After creating a media circus out of the event, the lunch eventually got cancelled due to Sun’s ‘kidney stones’, a claim which is still questioned.

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Author: Joseph Kibe

Luxembourg Financial Firm, Black Manta Capital, Receives BaFin License For STO

Black Manta Capital Partners, a financial company based in Luxembourg, has recently received the license from the German regulator BaFin (Federal Financial Supervisory Authority). With the license, the company will now be able to start offering Security Token Offering (STO).

The company first filed the order for the license nine months ago. Now, it is legally able to offer regulated blockchain-based brokerage services to its clients, which was the plan since the start.

According to the reports, the company is set to manage the tokens of the clients using the blockchain. The idea is to offer more access to smaller and medium companies via the STOs. This way, they will get an innovative new way to raise capital from investors.

Part of the reason why the company wanted to get the license from the regulator was in order to reach a more global audience. The Black Manta Capital Partners project is very ambitious and the company wants to set many international bases. Berlin will be one of these places, as well as Vienna and Malta.

There are also some plans to open up shop in Singapore, which would expose the company to Asian markets. Because of this, the company has already applied for a license in Singapore a well. At the moment, they are awaiting their approval.

According to the spokesman of the company, Black Manta wants to hold only great STOs, but they want to be the link between Europe and Asia, so having investments in both companies is a great start.

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Author: Gabriel Machado

Over 200 Cryptocurrency Exchanges in South Korea at Risk of Bankruptcy

South Korean cryptocurrency investors are facing a huge challenge as 97% of the exchanges in the country face bankruptcy. The exchanges claim low transaction volume and inability to open real-name virtual accounts as major causes for the challenge.

According to a report by Business Korea, the cryptocurrency exchanges in the country are on the verge of bankruptcy. South Korea has over 200 exchanges but only “five or six South Korean exchanges rank among the top 100 in the world in terms of reported transaction volume.” While the report provides no further facts on the statistic, the broader cryptocurrency market in the country is facing regulation challenges – which affects the exchanges business.

“It is no exaggeration to say that 97 percent of domestic exchanges are in danger of going bankrupt due to their low volume of transactions.”

Regulation Gives Foreign Crypto Exchanges Advantage

In July, BEG reported financial regulators in South Korea are continuing to tighten the regulations around the cryptocurrency industry – especially on exchanges. This is stifling the domestic exchanges from developing products for its market and pushing some of them to foreign markets.

Furthermore, investors are looking towards foreign cryptocurrency exchanges to trade their digital assets as it gets harder to make deposits and withdraw using the Korean Won in domestic exchanges. One of the crypto exchanges looking to provide Won deposits and withdrawals is Binance, in a bid to increase their market share in the country.

BW.com, a China-based exchange, is looking forward to opening Korean Won deposits in the coming weeks. The exchange already has a presence in the Korean domestic market having attracted domestic blockchain projects such as Ziktalk, Storichain, Payexpress and Sigma Chain.

South Korea’s Cryptocurrency Market Looks Stable

Despite the scare of over 97% of the cryptocurrency exchanges going bankrupt, the cryptocurrency industry in the country is growing. On August 2, the government announced the launch of a regulation-free zone to boost cryptocurrency and blockchain development in the country. Furthermore, Coinone, a South Korean digital asset exchange, provided a checklist last week announcing the onboarding of more trading pairs on its platform.

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Author: Lujan Odera